Here’s a question for you-
Before you became a member or unofficial member of the circus nightmare we call “The Registry”, (cue the scary music), how much did you actually know about it?
If you’re like me, probably little to nothing, you weren’t part of the registry, knew no one on it. Sure, you may have heard of “The Registry”, may have even searched the web to see what evil lurked in your own neighborhood, assumed like many of us that the registry was confined to “the worst of the worst”, pedophiles and rapists. And, like me, you probably assumed that the law of the land and restrictions for registrants were the same, nationwide.
Boy, were we wrong!
So, that got me to wondering-
Maybe the judges on the Supreme Court “just don’t know” either.
Supreme Court Judges rule on the “Big” stuff, but do they have any earthly idea how the result of their rulings filters down and reeks havoc on the daily lives of registrants who live in towns all across the country? Do they have any clue that a registrant has 48 hours to register in Florida, 72 hours in Hawaii and 10 days in Arizona?
Do they know that if you vacation in Tennessee you must register within 48 hours, Indiana gives you 72 hours and Mississippi lets you enjoy their state for 4 days before having to register?
Do they understand that a registrant has to educate themselves regarding all these different town, county and state rules, regulations and restrictions before they go anywhere because in the eyes of the law “ignorance is not a defense”. Who could possibly know all of this? I’m certain the Supreme Court Justices don’t. Why would they?
Last time I looked there was no “Registrant 101 Handbook” that covers everything you’ll ever need to know about being a Registrant.
Unless a SCOTUS judge has a family member, friend or acquaintance who is on the registry, how often would they ever hear about the hardships that registrants are forced to endure? For them, it’s just another day at the office, rule on the big cases and go home to a nice dinner. They only see “the big picture” because that’s their job, the “big picture”. The consequences of their rulings “after” they begin to funnel down to small towns and counties are probably seldom if ever seen or heard about by them. There’s no way they could ever keep up with the ever increasing residency restrictions for registrants across the land they rule over. Knowing all that “little” stuff is probably not part of their job description and I doubt that they have a Registrant Handbook to read either.
What’s the likelihood that they know what the residency restrictions are in San Francisco, L.A., New York City or Unadilla, Georgia? How would they know that 1,000 foot is OK here, but here it’s 2,000 ft?
Would a Supreme Court Justice ever guess that a registrant’s spouse might lose their job if their employer learns that they’re married to a registrant?
Or that a registrant’s children would be bullied and ostracized at school when word gets out that their parent is on the registry?
Does the Supreme Court hear about all the registrants that are forced to move, become homeless, lose jobs and families solely because of the Registry.?
I’m thinking, what if they really “just don’t know?”
If that’s the case, then maybe we, registrants, family members and friends need to tell them just how difficult life can be.
Those on the Supreme Court might just need to hear firsthand accounts of the circus hoops that registrants and their families must jump through each day, just to survive. Maybe they’ll remember those accounts when they decide the over-all fate of registrants on the “Big” cases.
Maybe when they know better they’ll do better!
So, I have an idea-
It’s summer, maybe you have a few minutes of extra time. Maybe you’ve always wanted to do something that might help change our little corner of the world but didn’t think you alone could make a difference. Maybe you don’t want to be “public” about your situation, maybe you think no one wants to hear or no one gives a crap, maybe you think “others” can say it better, or that “it won’t change anything”.
I get that. There’s no certainty in this.
Some of us aren’t ready to jump on the bandwagon, being on the registry is painful, writing about being on the registry can be torture. But if WE don’t stand up for ourselves, for our family members, who will? We can’t expect others to do all the work for us, not if we want to get rid of the registry in our lifetime. We’re all in this together. We all need to do our part, even if all we can do is something as small as sending a letter.
Will it make a difference? I’m not sure, Washington may view this as “fake news”, who knows, but why not try? We’ve got a movement going for saner sex offender laws which seems to be gaining momentum across the country. Now seems as good a time as any for EVERYONE to put in their two cents with Washington.
There are approximately 860,000 registrants in the United States. Add to that all the family members and friends of registrants.
If each registrant, family member or friend, wrote ONE, JUST ONE short, respectful letter to any of the Supreme Court Justices telling a brief story of life on the registry, then we could at least be certain SCOTUS “knows” about us.
At least then they couldn’t say they “didn’t know.”
Write to any of the 9 Supreme Court Justices (John G. Roberts Jr., Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Samuel Anthony Alito Jr., Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan or Neil Gorsuch) at One First Street N.E., Washington,D.C.20543
860,000 sincere and respectful letters about the trials and tribulations of living on the registry might make for some nice Summer Reading for the Justices.